The Best Links of 2002
This year boasted the debut of TANGMONKEY.COM's Link-du-Jour. Du jour, of course, means "every day or so", "as often as we can" or "please stop sending horse-heads: we're trying our best". SMALLEST LINK OF THE YEAR
With dozens and dozens of links posted, there's a lot to dredge to if you wish to ascertain the very best of the best. The problem is compounded if you take into account Lo, Twas the Web, whose two issues presented a cavalcade of off-site fun.
It is with great pleasure, then, that we present Tangmonkey's very best links of this year, as selected by Link-du-Jour's editor. If you stumble across something strange, funny or fascinating, don't hesitate to send it in. The bounty of your web-scouring may well be shared with the world.
GUIMP is the world's smallest website. Elegant, functional and yes, really really tiny.
BEST SITES OF THE YEAR: ART
5. FOUND ART: an oft' updated database of strange and wonderful found things; moving, funny and strange.
4. STEREOTYPES: Internet art by Eric Myer that lets you play with faces and stereotypical convention. Designed with subtle flair.
3. WORTH 1000: A home to the web's hundreds of Photoshoppers - skillful artists who rise to any challenge, finessed or hysterical. Makes for jaw-dropping tomfoolery, and there's something here for everyone.
1. ACTION COMICS #1: Superman's very first comic - scanned, posted, ad-free, and worth more than your life.
BEST FAKE AMAZON REVIEWER OF THE YEAR
Henry Raddick, without a doubt, has amused more - and won more hits for Amazon - than any other wise-cracking, dry-humoured, weird and anonymous individual in Amazon's enormous roster of reviewers. It was, perhaps, the Year of the Raddick.
BEST SITES OF THE YEAR: FLASH GAMES
BREAK, at Trouble Games: gorgeous, stylin', and as fun as a keyboard-bound version of Dance Dance Revolution has any right to be.
X-MEN VS. STREETFIGHTER: It's X-Men versus Streetfighter, people.
BEST LINK OF THE YEAR THAT'S GOT SOMETHING REMOTELY TO DO WITH SCIENCE
POPPING A BALLOON IN ZERO GRAVITY: If you popped a balloon while floating in space, would you take a video and put it on the Internet?
BEST SITES OF THE YEAR: ARTICLES
5. "SEEING AROUND CORNERS": The science of artificial societies - math, sociology and programming - can help us to foretell the future and understand the past. It's the Game of Life as fortune-teller. From the Atlantic Monthly.
4. "SPELUNKING THE EMPIRE OF DEATH": Exploring the catacombs of Paris with the Painted Lizard. Nazis, sewage, crazy psychotherapists, and Mag Lites. From Salon.
3. "BURNING QUESTION": A former English pop-star burns 1 million £ - for Art. This is the full and absolutely fascinating story.
2. "AN INTERVIEW WITH TOM WAITS": Whether you know much, little, or nothing of Tom Waits, this interview is a joy to read. Whimsy, wisdom, and the strange stories of an even stranger man. From The Onion AV Club.
1. "THE NAKED FACE": 'Can you read people's thoughts just by looking at them?' asks the by-line, and here we read of people who can: those who see lies in the wrinkles around eyes, who see truth in the curve of a mouth. It is one of those articles that you cannot help but get excited about. From The New Yorker.
BEST MUSIC SITE OF THE YEAR
THE APRIL WINCHELL SHOW: This MP3 page from Winchell's American radio program is chock-full of the weirdest and wildest songs you've never heard. From German versions of "My Girl" and "Wishin' and Hopin'" (sung by the original artists), to vomituous-and-Grammy-winning blendings of "Norwegian Wood" with the theme to Mission Impossible, it's all here.
BEST SITES OF THE YEAR: WEIRD
EVERY BOOK ART GARFUNKEL HAS READ: There's thirty years of reading here, people! And he sings on "Sound of Silence"!
HATS OF MEAT: There isn't actually anything more to say, really.
BEST HOAXES OF THE YEAR
GUNTHER THE MILLIONNAIRE DOG: Though this website seems at first to be fake-as-fake-can-be, I was astonished to find Gunther's veracity affirmed by NBC, SF Gate, and the BBC. The Internet didn't prove much help in further detective work, but evidence suggests that Gunther was, in fact, after all, a hoax. The revelation seems to have fallen outside of web-trackable media, however, leaving it all very mysterious.
PHONE-BASHING: This site launched long before 2002, but its hilarious premise - men in cell-phone costumes stealing other peoples' cell-phones and smashing them - is timeless. I laughed and laughed and snorted and laughed the first time I saw some of those annoying cancer-phone-chatters put in their place. Sadly, the website is owned by EMI, making it no more than a veiled promotional vehicle for some anti-cell-phone pop hit in the mid-90s.
BEST SITES OF THE YEAR: ODDS & ENDS
4. ELECTROMARK CUSTOM DESIGN WIZARD: Lets you design swanky, professional-looking signs that warn of electrical storms n death n stuff. Clean, cool interface.
3. BRITNEY EXPOSED: Finally, as you've never seen her before!
2. FLASH FACE: Linked only this past week, Flash Face uses an easy Flash interface to let you sketch the face of any male under the sun (unless they have sideburns). Simple, well-engineered, and even the artistically-challenged can produce amazing results.
1. TIME: "On June 17th, every year, the family goes through a private ritual: we photograph ourselves to stop a fleeting moment, the arrow of time passing by." 1976-2002. Extraordinary.
BEST GASTRONOMIC SITE OF THE YEAR
THE ANDALUSIAN COOKBOOK: A vast and complete cookbook from the 13th century. Recipes to die for - and to die eating. It's a snapshot from another time, and also an inspirational recipe set for the here-and-now. My favourite recipe? "The Making of Marrow Without Marrow, Which No One Will Suspect".
BEST SITES OF THE YEAR: FLASH HILARITY
STRONG-BAD EMAIL: If I don't say it, someone else will. Though Homestarrunner is not for everyone and even Strong-Bad's email is inconsistent, at its best, these letters from a Mexican Wrestler with punching-glove hands are fall-outta-the-chair funny. An acquired taste, but regular updates make it easy to acquire. So do. (Everyone's got their favourite, but mine is: Trevor the Vampire.)
Strindberg & Helium: I'm not sure what there is to get, but some people do and some people don't. I do. I very, very much do. Strindberg & Helium is hysterical to the point of asphyxiation: the antics of the gothic playwright and his pink friend make me glad to be alive.